Granola Bars

granolabar3
School has already started for a lot of families, and while many parents regard this as the most wonderful time of the year, I always prefered my kids when they are fully enveloped in the happy and carefree months of summer. Nothing is ever easy once school starts when the drama of class schedules, friendships, and outfits begins.

I am sure you know what a bad state the kids of America are in. Their school meals are atrocious, their homework load weighs a ton, and their stress level is off the charts. I’m not saying that a good snack can fix all that, but it can’t hurt.

These granola bars are quite tasty, and are nutritionally miles above Hot Cheetos and Oreo cookies. Plus, knowing that someone who loves you and is looking out for your health with a good-for-you snack has to count for something.

This recipe is tropical, but you can create your own version by adding your favorite grains, fruits, and nuts.

INGREDIENTS

4-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried papaya, chopped
1/4 cup dried mango, chopped
1/4 cup banana chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup canola or peanut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Coat a 9×13″ baking dish with pan spray. In a large bowl stir together oats, sunflower seeds, flour, raisins, papaya, mango, bananas, coconut, macadamias, pecans, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add oil, honey, and vanilla, and mix well to moisten.
  2. Press mixture into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before slicing into bars.
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